Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Although admittedly viewed through a rather hazy crystal ball, the national economy and the future of our industry can be projected with cautious optimism, so long as we are prepared to accept a “two steps forward, one step back” type of progress. At the midpoint of 2010, a look at the dashboard is encouraging: After shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009 (the most since 1946), gross domestic... more »
  • Although admittedly viewed through a rather hazy crystal ball, the national economy and the future of our industry can be projected with cautious optimism, so long as we are prepared to accept a “two steps forward, one step back” type of progress. At the midpoint of 2010, a look at the dashboard is encouraging: After shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009 (the most since 1946), gross domestic... more »
  • Despite unified industry pleas to delay implementation based on training bottlenecks and the poor timing of adding yet another speed bump to an ailing industry’s road to recovery, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go live with its new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on April 22, 2010. The new measure (40 CFR § 745.85) requires renovation work that disturbs more... more »
  • Selling windows and doors in today’s economy is hard. The replacement window business has remained comparatively strong, but selling directly to consumers is stil a challenge. Not only is it difficult to sell products in an economy where housing prices have plummeted and homeowners are spending more conservatively, but consumers are more skeptical and always looking for a “deal.... more »
  • When I first started covering this industry, European profile extruders were still in the midst of their first push into the North American market. Vinyl had a relatively small market share, limited largely to a few replacement products, and the European suppliers saw huge opportunities. Those opportunities weren’t realized quickly, however. One of the main reasons was the tilt/turn product... more »
  • The first several months of 2010 represented somewhat of an industry first. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s new lead renovation, repair and painting rule was set to go in effect, window and door manufacturers and dealers—along with others from the building products and construction industry—went to Washington, D.C., en masse to make their case. Instead of its typical... more »
  • As some of you are probably aware, the International Code Council final action hearings on its Group A+ (non-energy) related proposals took place in May 2010 in Dallas.  What you may not have been aware of is that the final action on some of these proposals had already been determined well before the Dallas hearings began. Although the result was not finalized until the vote was taken on... more »
  • I am one of those people who tend to not do well when I have a lot of things coming at me at the same time. I am not good at juggling–whether it be trying to keep balls in the air or making sure I don’t miss something when I have multiple business or personal responsibilities. This is why I tend to focus my attention primarily on what the International Code Council is doing. From time... more »
  • Let’s put down the plastic sheeting, hazardous materials bags, and personal protective equipment and, just for a moment, pick up our contracts. Much has been written about the EPA lead paint requirements that went into effect April 22. Like all construction trades, the window and door industry has been working to figure out and meet the new EPA rules covering work in pre-1978 buildings.... more »
  • It appears that the other shoe in the Energy Star program for windows, doors and skylights as adopted in April 2009 is poised to drop. On the heels of the March 31, 2010 implementation deadline for transitioning to the newly upgraded requirements, the “Phase Two” tightening of criteria–originally slated for 2012 or 2013–is now folded into a more comprehensive and... more »